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Sigmund Freud’s evolution from neurology to psychiatry: evidence from his La Salpêtrière library.

Dropped on:July 19, 2012
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Original source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/21968845?dopt=Abstract

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Sigmund Freud’s evolution from neurology to psychiatry: evidence from his La Salpêtrière library.

Neurology. 2011 Oct 4;77(14):1391-4

Authors: Bogousslavsky J

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the parallel between the scientific evolution of Sigmund Freud and his French library during and after his stay with Jean-Martin Charcot at La Salpêtrière in 1885-1886.
METHODS: Systematic review of all identified volumes of Freud’s personal library, and comparison with his life data and publications.
RESULTS: The largest part of Freud’s 125 French medical books up to 1900 (of 3,725 books overall) are devoted to hysteria and hypnotism, published mainly between 1885 and 1895. Over one-third (50) of the neurology (94) and alienism (22) books have Charcot or one of his direct pupils (Janet, Féré, Babinski, Gilles de la Tourette, Richer, Pitres, Sollier, Raymond, Marie, Binet, Ball, Bourneville, Blocq, Berbez, Guinon, and Souques) as author. During that period, Freud evolved from the clinical-anatomic method (after mainly experimental histologic studies) to theoretical neurology (using hysteria and aphasia models) and psychology, a process which subsequently led to the birth of psychoanalysis.
CONCLUSION: The library of Freud gives an interesting account on his own evolving thinking, which led him to leave neurology for psychology and psychoanalysis.

PMID: 21968845 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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